Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Electrophysiology

Electrophysiology

An electrophysiology study, or EP study, is a test to see if there is a problem with your heartbeat (heart rhythm) and to find out how to fix it. Some people don’t notice any symptoms. Others feel palpitations or a galloping or sluggish heartbeat, shortness of breath, chest pain or discomfort, fatigue or weakness, dizziness, and sometimes may have unexplained falls or fainting.

A normal heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats a minute and fluctuates during the day in response to anxiety, excitement or some medications. Heart rate speeds up during exercise and slows down during sleep. A rate faster than 100 beats a minute is called tachycardia, and slower than 60 beats a minute is called bradycardia.

Not all arrhythmias require treatment, but patients need to manage arrhythmias that cause significant symptoms and increase risk for a more serious condition.

What to Expect:

  • Catheter ablation: In this test, the doctor inserts one or more flexible tubes, called catheters, into veins in your groin, arm, or neck. Then he or she threads these catheters into the heart. At the tip of these catheters are electrodes, which are small pieces of metal that conduct electricity. The electrodes collect information about your heart's electrical activity. Your doctor can tell what kind of heart rhythm problems you have and where those problems are. Sometimes the problem can be fixed at the same time.
  • Inplantable devices: Surgery to implant an artificial pacemaker is a common treatment for bradycardia. This device sends an electrical impulse whenever the heart rhythm slows or becomes erratic. Another device, the the implatable cardioverter defibrillator, can be placed in the chest to correct an abmormally fast heartbeat.
  • Cardioversion: This treatment uses drugs or an electrical shock to reset the heart to its regular rhythm.

Lariat Procedure

Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital is among a few hospitals worldwide offering the LARIAT procedre to reduce the risk of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation who are unable to take blood thinning medication.

The LARIAT procedure is a minimally invasive, nonsurgical procedure to tie off the heart's left atrial appendage. The left atrial appendage is the primary source of blood clots leading to stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation. In the past the procedure was done as an open heart surgery. Our patients can benefit in several ways such as shorter hospital stays, less scarring, less pain.